All 12 finalists of the Caring for the Kenai competition receive their awards at Kenai Central High School on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Clarion file)

All 12 finalists of the Caring for the Kenai competition receive their awards at Kenai Central High School on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Clarion file)

Caring for the Kenai finalists to present Thursday

12 high school finalists are expected to take the stage to present their proposals

Final presentations for the 33rd Caring for the Kenai competition will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in Kenai Central High School’s Little Theatre, with finalists competing for around $28,000 in personal and classroom awards.

According to a release from Caring for the Kenai, 12 high school finalists are expected to take the stage to present their proposals for either improving the local environment or preparing for natural disaster.

The prize money is divided with $8,000 in individual prizes and $20,000 in cash awards for their classrooms, donated by Marathon Petroleum, Kenai River Raven Lodge, Peninsula Community Health Services, Hilcorp, Sweeney’s Clothing, KSRM Radio Group, Homer Electric Association, Eyewear Express, ConocoPhillips and Kenai River Sportfishing Association.

The names and schools of the finalists have not been revealed to ensure the judging is done anonymously, the release says, but “high schools borough wide” participated, including Cook Inlet Academy, Soldotna High School, Homer High School, Seward High School, Nikiski Middle/High School and home-school programs.

In addition to free public access at KCHS, a livestream will be available via YouTube at caringforthekenai.com.

“The oral presentations are unique in Alaska, an event not to be missed and a tribute to our school district,” said program creator Merrill Sikorski in the release. “This year’s entries show the creativity and resilience of our Peninsula youth and the dedication of a new generation of educators.”

Judges will be Marathon Plant Manager Bruce Jackman, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Clayton Holland, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche, PCHS CEO Ben Wright, Mike Sweeney and last year’s winner Abby Youngberg.

Winners will be announced the evening of the presentations.

For more information about Caring for the Kenai, visit caringforthekenai.com or facebook.com/CaringForTheKenai.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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